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Quercus.

The Oak

Grata Iovi est quercus, qui nos servatque fovetque.
Servanti civem querna corona datur.[1]
Aliud.
Glande aluit veteres,[2] sola nunc proficit umbra,
Sic quoque sic arbos officiosa Iovis.

The oak is pleasing to Jove who preserves and cherishes us. A crown of oak is given to one who preserves a fellow-citizen.
Other.
The oak fed men of old with its acorns. Now it benefits us only with its shade. In this way too the tree of Jove does us service.

Notes:

1.  ‘a crown of oak’, awarded for saving the life of a fellow-soldier; see Pliny, Natural History, 16.3.7.

2.  For the ancient belief that early man fed on acorns see e.g. Lucretius, De Rerum natura, 5.939; Vergil, Georgics, 1.7; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.106.


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Cotonea.

The quince

Poma novis tribui debere Cydonia nuptis
Dicitur antiquus constituisse Solon.[1]
Grata ori & stomacho cum sint, ut & halitus illis
Sit suavis, blandus manet & ore lepos.

Solon of old is said to have ordained that quinces be given to newly-weds, since these are pleasant both to mouth and stomach. As a result their breath is sweet, and winning grace drops from their lips.

Notes:

1.  antiquus...Solon, ‘Solon of old’. See Plutarch, Coniugalia praecepta, Moralia 138 D.


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